The Certification Board for Addiction Professionals of Alabama provides this Code of Ethics for each of its certified members.  Certified Addiction Professionals believe in the dignity and worth of the individual.  They are committed to increasing knowledge of human behavior, to the understanding of themselves and others, and to the relief of human suffering.  While pursuing these endeavors they make every reasonable effort to protect the welfare of those who seek their services and to protect any subject who may be the object of study.  They use their skills only for purposes consistent with these values and do not knowingly permit their misuses by others.  While demanding for themselves freedom of inquiry and communication, addiction professionals accept the responsibility this freedom confers: competence; objectivity in t he application of skills; and the concern for the best interests of clients, colleagues, and society in general.  In the pursuit of these ideals, addiction professionals subscribe to the principles of Ethical Standards, which are presented in this document.


In their commitment to advancing the welfare of alcohol and drug dependent individuals and their families, addiction professionals value objectivity and integrity.  They accept consequences of their work and make every effort to insure that their services are used appropriately.  In providing services they maintain the highest standards.


1.1     Do not discriminate against or refuse professional service to anyone on the basis of race, religion, natural origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.

1.2     Avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of their clients and make every effort to avoid dual relationships with clients that would impair professional judgment or increase the risk of exploitation.  Examples of such dual relationships include, but are not limited to, business or sexual relationships with clients.

1.3     Do not use their professional relationship with clients to further their own interests.

1.4     Continue therapeutic relationships only so long as it is reasonably clear that clients are benefiting from the relationship.  They assist persons in obtaining other therapeutic services if they are unable or unwilling, for appropriate reasons, to see a person who has requested professional help.  They do not abandon or neglect clients in treatment without making reasonable arrangements for the continuation of such treatment.


           Addiction Professionals have a primary obligation to respect the confidentiality of client information.  They reveal such information to others only with the written consent of the person or person’s legal representative, except in those unusual circumstances in which not to do so would result in clear danger to the person or to others.  Where appropriate, addiction professionals inform clients of the legal limits of confidentiality.  ADDICTION PROFESSIONALS:

2.1     Cannot disclose client confidences to anyone, except:  (1) as mandated by law; (2) to prevent a clear and immediate danger to a person or persons; (3) where the addictions professional is a defendant in a civil, criminal or disciplinary action arising from the therapy (in which case client confidences may only be disclosed in the course of the action); or (4) if there is a waiver previously obtained in writing; and then such information may only be revealed in accordance with the terms of the waiver.

2.2     Use clinical materials in teaching, writing, and public presentations only if a written waiver has been received in accordance with paragraph 2.1 (4), of when appropriate steps have been taken to protect client identity.

2.3     Store or dispose of client records in ways that maintain confidentiality.


         The maintenance of high standards of professional competence and integrity are responsibilities shared by all addiction professionals.  They recognize the boundaries of competence and the limitations of techniques and only provide services; use techniques, or offer opinions as professionals meeting recognized standards.  Throughout their careers, addiction professionals maintain knowledge of professional information related to the services they render.  ADDICTION PROFESSIONALS:

3.1     Accurately represent their competence, education, training, and experience.

3.2     As supervisors, perform duties based on careful preparation so that supervision is accurate, up-to-date and scholarly.

3.3     Recognize the need for obligation to professional growth through continuing education, are open to new procedures, and are sensitive to differences between groups of people and changes in expectations and values over time.

3.4     Should have an understanding of counseling or educational measurement, validation problems, and other test research where they have the responsibility for decisions involving individuals or policies based on test results.  Test users should know and understand the literature relevant to the tests used and testing problems with which they deal.

3.5     Do not attempt to diagnose, treat, or advise problems outside the recognized boundaries of their competence.

3.6     Seek appropriate professional assistance for their own personal problems or conflicts that are likely to impair their work performance and their clinical judgment.

3.7     Do not engage in sexual or other harassment of clients, students, employees, supervisees, trainees, or colleagues.

3.8     Are aware that, because of their ability to influence and alter the lives of others, they must experience special care when making public their professional recommendations and opinions through testimony or other public statements.


Addiction Professionals do not exploit the trust and dependency of students and supervisees. ADDICTION PROFESSIONALS:

4.1     Are cognizant of their potentially influential position with respect to students, employees, and supervisees; avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of such persons; and make every effort to avoid dual relationships that could impair professional judgment or increase the risk of exploitation.

4.2     Do not permit students, employees, or supervisees to perform or to represent themselves as competent to perform professional services beyond their training, level of experience, and competence.


   Addiction Professionals act with due regard to the needs and feelings of their colleagues in the field of addictions and other professions.  They respect the prerogatives and obligations of the institutions or organizations with which they are associated. ADDICTIONS PROFESSIONALS:

5.1     Understand the areas of competence of related professions and make full use of other professional, technical, and administrative resources which best serve the interest of clients.

5.2     Remain accountable to the standards of the profession when acting as members or employees or organizations.

5.3     As writers and researchers:  (1) assign publication credit to those who have contributed to a publication in proportion to their contributions; (2) cite appropriately persons to whom credit for original ideas are due; (3) take accurately and factually promoted and advertised; and (4) are adequately informed of and abide by relevant laws and regulations regarding the conduct of research with human participants.

5.4     Recognize a responsibility to participate in activities that contribute to a better community and society, including devoting a portion of their professional activity to services for which there is little or no financial return.

5.5     Are concerned with developing laws and regulations pertaining to the field of addiction that serve the public interest, and with altering such laws and regulations that are not in the public interest.  They also encourage public participation in the designing and delivery of services and in the regulation of practitioners.

5.6     Having First-hand knowledge of an ethical violation, should attempt to rectify the situation.  Failing an informal solution, addiction professionals should bring such unethical activities to the Certification Board for Addiction Professionals.

  1.    FEES:

   Addiction Professionals charge fee only where they are licensed to do so.  In such case they make financial arrangements with client’s that conform to accepted professional practices and that are reasonably understandable.   ADDICTION PROFESSIONALS:

6.1     Do not offer or accept payment referrals.

6.2     Do not charge excessive fees for services.

6.3     Disclose their fee structure to clients at the onset of treatment.


            Addiction Professionals engage in appropriate informational activities, including those that enable laypersons to choose addiction professionals on an informed basis.  ADDICTION PROFESSIONALS:

7.1     Accurately represent their competence, education, training, and experience relevant to their practice as an addiction professional.

7.2     Claim as evidence of educational qualifications only those degrees from regionally-accredited institutions of from institutions accredited by states which license or certify addictions professionals.

7.3     Assure that advertisements and publications, whether in directories, announcement cards, newspapers, or on radio or television, are formulated to convey information that is necessary for the public to make an appropriate selection.

7.4     Do not use a name which could mislead the public concerning the identity, responsibility, source, and status of those participating under the name and do not represent themselves out as being partners or associates of a firm if they are not.

7.5     Do not use any professional identification (such as a professional card, office sign, letterhead, or telephone or association directory listing), if it includes statement or claim that is false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive.

7.6     Correct, wherever possible, false, misleading, or inaccurate information and representations made by others concerning the addictions professional’s qualifications, services, or products.



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